Strategic People Planning
July 18, 2018
The following blog post was written by c. myers and originally published by CUES on July 9, 2018.
It is common for businesses to have strategic planning sessions at least annually. What is not common, yet necessary, is to purposefully and strategically plan talent requirements for the intermediate and longer term.
The world continues to become more complex and evolving business models often require a different type of talent. How do you begin to build that “right team” or even define it?
At the executive level, one key component of strategic people planning is to get the right talent infrastructure in place, so that the people who need to think and act strategically every single day can do so.
It starts with strategic clarity. The credit union must have a clearly defined understanding of its desired business model and strategic vision. This is necessary because the talent infrastructure should be designed to support the building and maintenance of the desired long-term strategy.
Four Steps to Building an Effective Talent Infrastructure:
1. Design the ideal team for the job. Think through and define the optimal leadership team, both in terms of the team’s functionality and the characteristics of the executives needed to bring the strategy to fruition. There is not one right answer for all credit unions.
From a functionality perspective, consider how delivery and marketing of products and services is changing—as well as how to truly engage the consumer and sell in a digital world. Think of how consumers are bombarded, hourly, by marketing messages. How is your organizational structure evolving to cut through this noise and deliver on your value proposition at every connection with your members?
The desired executive characteristics are also changing. Many are considering how many people on the team need to have the ability to navigate quickly in the gray, and regularly demonstrate sound decision-making in the face of ambiguity.
Also, which team members need to be masters of multidimensional thinking, meaning they can move fluidly between creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and strategic thinking?
2. Determine what you have and what you need. Assess which characteristics and skills the credit union has within the current executive team, and identify the gaps. How well are the existing characteristics and skills of the current executives aligned with what is needed? Recognize that this is easier said than done.
3. Create a plan to get there. Determine the strategic and tactical steps that are needed over the next few years, to move in the direction of having the right executive team functionality and desired characteristics.
4. Build a supporting structure. Executive team members must have appropriate time to think and act strategically. The key to this is having the right executive-supporting talent, so each executive must, in turn, define the functions and skills needed from that talent, assess, and make appropriate changes to build that support.
Creating a solid infrastructure for building and maintaining the right executive talent can help position the credit union to drive toward its desired business model and, ultimately, the strategic vision for the credit union. Directly linking the desired talent capabilities and characteristics to your institution’s unique strategy translates to a keener ability to find, grow, and maintain the right talent.